US Troops Won't Be Eating the Indestructible Pizza of Their Dreams

Image AP Photo/Steven Senne
Image AP Photo/Steven Senne

War is hell, and hell still doesn’t have pizza.

For years, the Pentagon has been developing a pizza-based Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) capable of lasting the requisite three years all US military rations have to endure. In that time, it’s been breathlessly covered by the likes of the BBC, Business Insider, VICE’s Munchies, Phys, Mediaite, the 99% Invisible podcast, Mental Floss—hell, even io9. The earliest reference we found was on Stars and Stripes in October of 2013.


“Pizza is the holy grail of MREs,” a Defense Department official told the paper at the time, “because for decades, people have been asking for this.”

A post from user RockyRaab on the forum MREinfo even notes that “that darn meal has been in ‘development’ for so long, it’s hard to believe it may finally be fielded.” Sadly, RockyRaab of Ogden, Utah, your skepticism was founded: according to Defense News, the damn pizzas turn brown.

Ahead of their projected 2018 debut, the MRE slices (which, if we’re being honest, look more like flatbread than pizza) were tossed into a 100-degree environment for six months. Somehow, this mimics the passage of three years, but we’re not sure that’s how time works. For whatever reason, this caused discoloration in both the cheese and pepperoni varieties of the MRE.

Jeremy Whitsitt, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Combat Feeding Directorate, told Defense News that the bungled pies aren’t unsafe to eat after enduring their simulated three-year shelf life. They just look weird and gross, and won’t be shipped out to soldiers yet. Because after at least four years of R&D and manufactured hype, the damn pizzas turn brown.

[Defense News]

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/



I don’t get the appeal, anything bread like in any of the NATO countries rations invariably tends toward foulness. Give me some nice stews and curries and I’m a happy man, add in a nice dessert then it’s perfect. Honestly modest improvements to the basic do well, and cover the rest with a good rear echelon supply chain for treats.

If you really want bread in the field, well it’s easy enough to make, soldiers have been baking bread on hot rocks for most of human history. And if are in the shit and can’t afford heat or light sources I would rather go for something that you can just cut the corner off the pack and squeeze out.

Plus bread and cheese in the field isn’t exactly something I would want, dairy in the field is always dangerous. There is a reason why it was only recently that a lot of forces phased out the various version of hard tac and associated laxative dosed drinks for afterwards.